Singapore Airlines was the first airline to take on the Airbus A380 and when they did they launched a whole new level of First Class when they debuted their suites. Trust me they are fabulous.
The First Class cabin is full of little pods with doors which close for privacy. This reset any expectations of what you could achieve in luxury on an aircraft. The new product was so in demand that it was not easy to get a ticket even though there was a premium to pay and is was (in fact still is) almost impossible to use miles for a flight.
Since being the launch customer for this big bird there have been been a few competitors which have done very innovative cabin designs and tried to up the ante for First Class amenities, Emirates Airlines did a great job. But all the airlines seemed to have a similar product until now.
Etihad Airways have just broken all rules. Late to the A380 party they obviously decided to make up for lost time. Their first Airbus A 380 will operate the Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow route and it is configured unlike any other cabin in the sky.
On this aircraft they will have a first class cabin with eight seats, similar enough to Singapore Airlines and Emirates BUT there is also something very special called the First Apartment. There are two of these consisting of three rooms in each. As you enter there is a living room with a full flat screen TV; walk down the corridor and you have a bedroom; plus your own private bathroom with a shower. It’s like flying a private jet.
You get your own private butler who is Savoy-trained I might add and an on board Chef who will create menus that are out of this world for any airline.
In the main First Class cabin there’s also a lounge which can be used by any of the First passengers and of course there are Chauffeur driven cars to take you to and from your destination.
The only problem I can see with Etihad’s new product, aside from the price, is that Abu Dhabi to London won’t be a long enough flight. I guarantee that everyone in the Apartments will feel like they haven’t had a long enough time on board and that’s quite a feat for any airline.
James Hogan, who ran BMI is the man in charge of Etihad and he has a vision to take First Class to a whole new dimension. And he seems to be succeeding.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.